Whether you’re a high school student preparing for the future, a parent planning for your child’s education, or you’re already enrolled in college, you’re likely familiar with scholarships. Often an overlooked financial resource, scholarships can help pay for some (or all) of the cost of attendance. Not all students apply for scholarships, despite the fact they can help with college expenses.
Whether you’re enjoying your summer break from school, or you’re just getting ready to start a new semester, it’s always a good time to apply for both local and national scholarships.
No matter what time of year, there are many benefits to applying for scholarships year-round including:
You may be eligible for merit scholarships
Some students are under the impression that because they did not qualify for financial aid after filling out their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) that they won’t qualify for any type of scholarship. While some scholarships are based on financial need, there are plenty of merit scholarships available based on academic, athletic, or special-interests. Merit scholarships can come from colleges and universities, educational organizations, and private companies. Every scholarship has its own criteria, so whether it means writing an essay or having a minimum GPA, finding a scholarship that you could be eligible for might be easier than you think. If you’re looking for merit scholarships, be sure to check out Unigo’s merit-based scholarship directory.
No essay scholarships
Speaking of writing essays: this is another common misconception that many students have, and what stops some students from applying for scholarships if writing is not their strong suit. While many scholarships require essays as part of their application processes, there are also plenty of no-essay scholarships available. Applying for scholarships without essay requirements means that the student loan application process will typically be simple and less time-consuming, so when you’ve got nothing to lose, why not apply? Here’s a sample list of no essay scholarships.
Every little bit helps
Full-ride scholarships that pay for a student’s entire college education are few and far between, and this deters many students from applying for scholarships with smaller award amounts. Investopedia reports that the average scholarship award ranges from $1,000 to $5,000, and in the grand scheme of things, this may not seem like much. But every little bit will help, especially if you’re awarded several of these scholarships over the course of your college education.
Applying frequently increases your chances
There are always scholarships that students can apply for year-round, but some students may only focus on applying during certain times of the year. For instance, a student may be planning for expenses in an upcoming semester and only then decide to look for scholarships. However, think about the benefits of consistently searching and applying for scholarships throughout the year. Not only can finding scholarships well ahead of their application deadlines give you adequate time to prepare, but the more scholarships you apply for, the more chances you’ll have at being awarded free money to help pay for college expenses.
At College Ave, we offer a $1,000 scholarship every month. Each month we choose a winner, so you can check back each month and enter.
The application process can enrich your life
Not all scholarship applications simply involve sending over academic transcripts and/or essay writing: some require other real-world experiences, such as volunteering. By seeking out and applying for scholarships year-round, you may find that you’re constantly presented with these types of opportunities and pursuing activities that you may not have participated in otherwise. It’s a great way to get involved with your community, meet new people and build relationships, and give back.
Get an edge over the competition
According to scholarships.com, the majority of scholarship deadlines typically fall between September and May. Because the academic school year is usually when most students are focusing on scholarships, it’s a good idea to continue applying for scholarships throughout the entire year, including in the summer. If fewer people are applying for scholarships during the summer, you’ll have less competition to worry about.
Receiving a scholarship award is also no easy feat, so to be chosen is quite the honor. It can prove your academic excellence or knowledge in a specific subject area, which can look great on your resume when applying for jobs in the future. Financially, winning scholarship money can also mean the difference of selecting the college of your choice, even if tuition prices are higher than other comparable alternatives.
Bridging the gap when it comes to paying for college expenses
If you’ve already taken advantage of federal student loans, grants, and scholarships and you still have a funding gap, you may need to look for other solutions to cover your college costs. Private student loans are one option that can help you get the extra money you need for college. We offer private student loans to help with those extra education expenses such as tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and computers and electronics for school.